1. Use the dropdown menu to choose the language you want to study
2. Choose the level that you want to reach:
– Level 1 – Elementary proficiency
– Level 2 – Limited working proficiency
– Level 3 – Professional working proficiency
– Level 4 – Full professional proficiency
– Level 5 – Native or bilingual proficiency
3. Choose how many hours you want to study each day
4. See how long it will take you to reach your fluency goal!
The answer is usually “it depends” when someone asks how long it takes to learn a language. Langoly developed this Fluency Calculator to change that. By choosing your language, fluency goal, and study time, the calculator shows you a more specific answer that you can use as a general timeline.
It’s important to remember that the Fluency Calculator is an estimate. The actual time it takes you to reach your desired level of fluency is up to you!
To create the Langoly Fluency Calculator, we used the language difficulty classifications designated by the U.S. Department of State. Languages are divided into 4 categories. Category I designates languages that are similar linguistically and/or culturally to English, such as Spanish, French and Italian. This scale goes up to Category IV, which includes the languages that are the most difficult for native English speakers to learn, such as Arabic, Mandarin, and Japanese.
From there, we calculated how many hours it takes to reach each level of fluency in each language. The different levels of fluency are based on the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) scale. This scale is used to measure language proficiency for Federal-level service positions in the U.S. government. It includes a set of criteria that ranks an individual’s ability to use the target language in certain situations. The scale measures levels 0-5:
Level 0 – No proficiency
Level 1 – Elementary proficiency
Level 2 – Limited working proficiency
Level 3 – Professional working proficiency
Level 4 – Full professional proficiency
Level 5 – Native or bilingual proficiency
For reference, Level 3 is considered “Professional Working Proficiency,” which means that someone can use the language well enough to work in a professional environment. It’s roughly the equivalent of a C1 level on the CEFR scale, which is the European language proficiency scale.
You can use this Fluency Calculator as a guideline, but remember that there’s no definitive timeline for reaching your desired level of fluency. Everyone learns at their own pace, everyone uses different language learning tools and materials, and everyone has different amounts of time they can dedicate to studying each day.